"At the very high end of headphone audio you’ll find balanced headphones and headphone amplifiers. Normally headphones have three connections: one to each ear and a common ground wire. The drive signal goes to one side of the driver coil in each earpiece, and the return from the coils joins together in the common ground connection. In a balanced headphone both sides of the driver coil are driven and no common connection between channels exists. Balanced amplifiers generate a normal and an inverted audio signal. The inverted signal is like a mirror image of the normal drive signal; when the normal signal is going positive the inverted signal is going negative. HeadRoom currently offers the Desktop Balanced Amp, the Home Balanced Amp, and the Max Balanced Amp. This method of driving headphones effectively doubles slew rate and power output, and halves the output impedance of the amp as seen by the headphones. The result is a dramatic improvement in speed, clarity, and impact. The downside is a significant investment in custom cables and amplifier electronics.
We currently offer four balanced headphones: The Sennheiser HD650, Sennheiser HD595s, beyerdynamic DT880, and Grado RS1. The Sennheiser HD650, is our favorite high-end can; it’s very refined and luscious sounding; a slightly laid back sound is its only fault, but that characteristic also makes them great for long listening sessions without fatigue."
Now, what I don’t understand (I’m really dumb when it comes to electronics) is how is that superior to simply getting rid of common ground? And if there are advantages why the same principal never used to drive speakers?
New Benchmark DAC1 USB.
A quote from Benchmark’s website:
"High-Current Output Drivers
The DAC1 USB features new high-current output drivers that are capable of driving 300-Ohm loads without an increase in distortion. They are also well suited for driving long cables or high-capacitance loads."
Does it mean I can use DAC1 USB’s balanced outputs to drive 300-Ohm Sennheiser HD650/600/580 headphones?
Can I simply re-terminate a stock HD650 cable replacement for balanced operation?
And if yes, what’s the pinout?
Unfortunately, readily available balanced cables offered by HeadRoom come with male XLRs.
Thanks in advance.
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